Moral Issues in Shakespeare’s Othello, Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Shelley’s Frankenstein

Moral Issues in Shakespeare’s Othello, Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Shelley’s Frankenstein

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The presentation of moral issues in Othello establishes that during the Renaissance period some writers challenged the traditional Elizabethan society. For instance, in Cinthio’s story Iago was a minor villain; however, Shakespeare transformed him into the Machiavellian that Is most memorable for his deception and downfall. Whereas, the presentation of moral issues in Frankenstein presents moral theory’s such as Unitarianism and the Theory of Natural Rights as inherent to which the characters face moral issues of their time. This is evident as the industrial revolution, scientific discoveries, traditional religious and metaphysical thought were topics in discussion in that time and had such an influential role in the novel. However, in Jane Eyre, the presentation of moral issues portrays a world where ethical choices overrule passion. This is evident when Jane decides it is morally right to be a “beggar” rather than a “mistress” when leaving Thornfield. Therefore, as readers, we sympathise with the characters; even if that means that, their actions are immoral of their time.
The presentation of moral issues in Othello focuses on Emilia’s courage to challenge the social and religious morality of their time in Act 4, Scene 3. For instance, Emilia’s Speech establishes cynicism towards men as Shakespeare’s lexical choice of ‘would not’ demonstrates that with the contraction displayed, Emilia is willing not to ‘marry.’ Therefore, her courage presents a moral issue in the play because challenging the social and religious morality of her time establishes that she disobeys the main principle that “Wives submit…to husbands and the Lord.” She knows that marriage is an obligation and her refusal demonstrates she has “Sense like the men....


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...Third series) [14 Feb 2001]
Jane Eyre (Penguin Classics) by Brontë, Charlotte [29 June 2006]
Frankenstein (Wordsworth Classics): Or, the Modern Prometheus Shelley [1 May 1992]
Katie Ellis, Subversive Surfaces: The Limits of Domestic Affection, in The Other Mary Shelley: Beyond Frankenstein, editors Audrey Frisch, Anne Mellor, and Esther Schor, 1993.
Parent-Child Tensions in Frankenstein: The Search for Communion, Laura P. Claridge, Studies in the Novel, 17:1 (Spring 1985) [Accessed 7th January 2014]: http://knarf.english.upenn.edu/Articles/claridge.html
http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/inferno
http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/novel_19c/thackeray/angel.html
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+5%3A22-33&version=NIV
http://community.weber.edu/WeberReads/theory_of_inalienable_rights.htm
http://www.Utilitarianism.com/bentham.htm

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